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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

George Edwin Bissell (1839–1920)

American sculptor, and founder member of the American National Sculpture Society. The son of a quarry master in New Preston, Connecticut, he served as a private in the American Civil War, after which he joined his father’s marble business in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he began modelling in clay. He studied sculpture in Europe, and lived in Paris from 1883 to 1896. He had a thriving portrait practice, and produced a number of monuments commemorating the Civil War, such as at Colchester, Connecticut (1875), and its political and military heroes, including Col. John Lyman Chatfield at Waterbury, Connecticut (1887), and Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln Park, Clermont, Iowa (1902). His Monument to Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation of the American Slaves (unveiled 21 August 1893) is in the Old Calton Burying Ground, Edinburgh.

Bibliography: R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 2, pp. 446–51; Smithsonian American Art Museum website.

Ray McKenzie 2018